How to Install a Light and Fan that Are Motion Activated into the Ceiling

Bathrooms hold moisture and humidity because they are constantly subject to water, steam and temperature changes. If your bathroom does not have a fan in the ceiling, I highly recommend one. You can get the motion sensor type that has a light in it as well for double added convenience. Installing one is easier than you might thing and well worth the time and effort.

First you need to gather your tools. You will need the following:

A motion-activated fan and light kit

Flexible Hose for Venting (if starting from scratch where no fan currently exists)

Drywall Saw


If you already have a fan and it simply is not working or needs updated or for other reasons replaced, simply remove the old fan and use the same space for the new one. You may need to use your drywall saw to make the space larger if the new fan is bigger in size. If you are starting from scratch, you will need to use your drywall saw to cut a place in the ceiling. Most fan kits have a template to use for the markings.

The very first thing you want to do is turn off any power going to the area you will be working in at the fuse box or circuit breaker panel.

Once your space is opened up to the correct size you will need to work on hooking up a venting system. If you are replacing an existing fan you can simply reconnect the existing vent hose to the new piece. If you are starting from scratch you will need to decide where you want your venting system to be placed, depending on the type you choose for the job. Use your flexible hose and angle it down toward the vent cap so moisture or water can run to the outside of your home. If you do not do this, the water will most likely run back towards your fan and be a potential cause of harm for your new equipment.

Take the wiring and bring it through the hole in your fan housing. Use a cable clamp to hold it into place. Then you want to push the whole thing, housing and all, gently into the ceiling hole, making sure it is level and flush to the rest of the ceiling. Use your drill to screw it into the joists. Follow the step-by-step instructions for assembling the wires for the fan, specific to your fan model of choice.

Gently push the now wired fan into the housing and connect the wiring harness as directed in manufacturer’s instructions. Install your light bulb and snap the diffuser into place. Turn on the electricity at the fuse box or circuit breaker panel and test the fan, the light, and the motion sensors. You now have a handy and practical addition in your bathroom.

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